Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

Home Fire

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2017 MAN BOOKER PRIZEThe suspenseful and heartbreaking story of an immigrant family driven to pit love against loyalty, with devastating consequences Isma is free. After years of watching out for her younger siblings in the wake of their mother’s death, she’s accepted an invitation from a mentor in America that allows her to resume a dream long deferred. But she can’t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong ...

Details Home Fire

TitleHome Fire
Release DateAug 15th, 2017
PublisherRiverhead Books
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction

Reviews Home Fire

  • Adina
    4.5* rounded up. Home Fire is the candidate I support to win the Booker Prize. Well, I only read 4 nominees until now so it is not a definite opinion. However, it is highly unlikely that I will make too much of an advancement in my reading of the longlist until the shortlist is published so it will probably remain on top for a while. If you read a few reviews you will realize that the novel is based on Antigone. Unfortunately, I cannot add anythi...
  • Larry H
    Ever since their mother and grandmother died within the period of a year, Isma has cared for her younger twin siblings, Aneeka and Parvaiz. Their well-being has always been her first concern, even if it meant sacrificing her own dreams and ambitions. But now that the twins have turned 18, Isma is finally putting herself first, accepting an invitation from a mentor to travel to America and co-author a paper with her.That doesn't mean Isma won't wo...
  • Hannah Greendale
    Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.
  • Diane S ☔
    There are so many timely subjects right now, world concerns and threats, and authors have responded in kind. This novel features two Muslim families in Britain, two families that have very different opinions on family and how to show or display their Muslim beliefs. It moves the themes in Sophocles, Antigone to present times. I remember very little about Antigone, refreshed my memory on Wiki, but I cannot really knowledgeably comment on the adequ...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    I went looking for a review copy of this when it was included on the Man Booker Prize Long list, and was approved for one by the publisher through Edelweiss.This is a book that kept morphing as I read it and discussed it, and it ended up in a place far removed from my expectations at the beginning. Nowhere in the publisher summary or promotional material does it mention that the author is also basing this novel on the myth of Antigone, but she ha...
  • Maxwell
    I don't give 1-star reviews very often because I feel like I don't read a lot of books I would label as 'bad.' And this book, even, isn't 'bad' in my eyes. But when I think about things I enjoyed regarding this novel, there's pretty much nothing redeemable for me. The characters were flat, the plot was paper thin (even though I know it's a modern retelling of Antigone, I don't feel like that knowledge did anything to elevate the story), and the w...
  • Hugh
    When the Booker longlist was announced, this was one of the books that most interested me, because I really enjoyed Shamsie's previous two novels (A God in Every Stone and Burnt Shadows). I was a little nervous when I read that this is a modern retelling of Antigone, because my knowledge of the classics is very limited, but it is a fine book and another one which would make a worthy winner.The book is in five sections each of which focuses on a d...
  • Paul Fulcher
    ‘What do you say to your father when he makes a speech like that? Do you say, Dad, you’re making it OK to stigmatise people for the way they dress? Do you say, what kind of idiot stands in front of a group of teenagers and tells them to conform? Do you say, why didn’t you mention that among the things this country will let you achieve if you’re Muslim is torture, rendition, detention without trial, airport interrogations, spies in your mo...
  • Roman Clodia
    Inspired by Sophocles' Antigone, this has a slightly shaky start but then soars into an outstanding tragedy of love, politics, justice and humanity. By drawing on Athenian tragedy, Shamsie makes the point that clashes of civic law vs a deeper, more humane sense of what is right have always been contested, and the tension between family and state always problematic. What she does so brilliantly in this book is to take these questions and give the...
  • Trish
    Shamsie’s novel was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize for 2017. It is topical: two British families with Muslim religious roots and Pakistani backgrounds cone together in a doomed pas de deux . The author Shamsie, according to cover copy, grew up in Karachi, and yet in her picture she has the round eyes of a Westerner. The cultural difficulties she writes of may not be too difficult for her to imagine, I’m guessing.I read this novel very f...
  • Claire McAlpine
    I read Home Fire in two days, I thought it was brilliantly done, heartbreaking, tragic, essential.Underpinning the novel is the premise of Sophocles' 5thC BC play Antigone, an exploration of the conflict between those who affirm the individual's human rights and those who must protect the state's security. Before reading Kamila Shamsie's Home Fire, I downloaded a translation of Antigone to read, acknowledging herself that Anne Carson's translatio...
  • Neil
    I have not read any of Shamsie’s previous novels, so this was new territory for me. It’s a good sign, I guess, that I have immediately added two other books to my “to read” list to try some more. This book isn’t perfect, but it is very, very good.I have seen some discussions about the use Shamsie makes of Antigone, perhaps specifically Anouilh’s version produced in occupied France during World War II. This influence is clear. You can ...
  • Jennifer
    This was a 3-star read for most of the book, but the last section was so phenomenal that it elevated the entire novel to something really special. Shamsie establishes the sovereignty of her own story before really diving into the Antigone references at the end, and she plays with a range of themes from Antigone and addresses contemporary issues without diminishing either goal. I leave this book with a much deeper sense of how complicated it is to...
  • Britta Böhler
  • Elli (The Bibliophile)
    I devoured this book in a single day, something I haven't done in a very long time. What a great, complex, well-written novel. It's themes are incredibly relevant but nothing feels forced or artificial about the plot. I really hope this gets short-listed for the Man Booker prize!
  • Jill
    If truth be known, I picked up Home Fire with some reluctance. My fear was that Home Fire would be another over-simplified book, painting its Muslim characters as either wild-eyed terrorists or pitiful victims. I needn’t have worried. This is a nuanced book that is good – so good, in fact, that Ms. Shamsie had me in thrall right ‘til the extraordinarily powerful last lines. The book is based loosely on Sophocles’ Antigone, and even in sta...
  • Doug
    4.5 A modern gloss on Antigone, this Booker nominee is now in 2nd place of my ranked longlisted books (with four other nominees to go!). Unlike several GR friends who either had no prior knowledge of its classical connection, or weren't conversant in the original Greek, that element undoubtedly enhanced my appreciation of what Shamsie achieves here (my degrees are in theatre, so I am fairly knowledgeable about the original texts). It was fascinat...
  • Gumble's Yard
    In the stories of wicked tyrants men and women are punished with exile, bodies are kept from their families –their heads impaled on spikes, their corpses thrown into unmarked graves. All these things happen according to the law, but not according to justice. I am here to ask for justice A book I read due to its longlisting for the 2017 Booker prize and by an author whose previous works I have not read. The book is a retelling of Antigone – a ...
  • Meike
    " - Go back to uni, study the law. Accept the law, even when it's unjust. - You don't love either justice or our brother if you can say that." This book tells the story of a British family with Pakistani roots that gets torn apart by the ideology of jihad - and the story is modeled after Sophocles' classic greek tragedy Antigone. I loved the idea, as it underlines that the turmoil we are facing today is not as new as we like to assume. Rather, it...
  • Sam
    Probably 4.5 stars but rounded down to 4 stars. Review forthcoming.
  • Jessica Woodbury
    There are still so few books about Muslim characters, that treat them as central and important figures, that Home Fire feels like more of a revelation than I wish it did. I could read five books about Isma, the woman whose story opens the novel. I wanted to know everything about her, I wanted to read her entire past and her entire future. The book begins with Isma's fear about not being able to travel when she needs to, and over time we see all t...
  • Jill
    This book was a big surprise for me. It begins rather awkwardly and I don't recall any beautiful sentences to highlight or re-read, but I still loved the book. Interesting and thought provoking. I'd give it 5 stars, but I need that beautiful prose. Now I need to read Antigone!
  • Simona
    The story of a Muslim family living in Britain, persecuted by the ghost of the dead father and his sins. The coherent story is narrated by five protagonists who expresses five different views on today's attitude - (non)respect toward religions, traditional vs. modern, what it means to be a Muslim in today's world, and in particular, it's the story about stigmatization. Interesting, topical story and a great display of our colorful, diverse world ...
  • Tyler Goodson
    This is a book to change the way you think about xenophobia and extremism, both religious and political. Shamsie breaks down an international incident from quiet beginning to unforgettable end. She is specific and intimate when she needs to be, expansive and public when necessary. It has all the power of an ancient tragedy with a message for right now.
  • LindaJ^
    A very relevant book on the subjects of refugees, racism, terrorism, civil rights, torture, among others. Apparently follows the outline of the Antigone myth, which I do not know so cannot comment on. The primary characters are Pakistanis who are British citizens. Three siblings - Isma and twins Aneeka and Parvaiz - are Muslims. A father - Karamat- and son - Eammon - are atheists, but the father was raised Muslim. Each of these characters has the...
  • Francesca Marciano
    As Peter Carey says in his blurb "recommended reading for prime ministers and presidents everywhere". In this brilliant book Shamsie succesfully attempts to show us what happens in the hearts of two very different Muslim families torn apart by their different beliefs. This talented writer isn't afraid to cut deep into our conscience and present us with a dilemma which is hard to have answers for.
  • Robert
    Kamila Shamsie's Home Fire is a modern update of Sophocles Antigone , which is about the title hero stealing her brother's corpse despite the laws and having a proper burial on home turf. I have not read The Sophocles play, but I did read Jean Anouilh's version which places the scene to wartime France but keeps the same message with anti Nazi undertones.In Shamsie's story, the scene is placed mostly in London and is a commentary on migrants, and ...
  • Joachim Stoop
    4,5 stars. Very timely yet timelessVery specific yet universalVery powerful yet tenderVery hard yet empathicThe prose is as superb as the story itself. This is worth the Booker
  • Jennifer Blankfein
    Follow my blog for all reviews athttps://booknationbyjen.wordpress.comDifficult subject - a lot to digest. Islamic terrorism, love, family, loyalty. Review to come.
  • Greg Zimmerman
    First appeared at http://www.thenewdorkreviewofbooks.co...Kamila Shamsie's new novel Home Fire is one of the more mesmerizing, intense novels I've read in a long time. It's about a London family — daughter Isma, and twins Aneeka and Parvaiz — whose mother died awhile ago and whose father abandoned them and died after being captured fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan. He was held at the infamous Bagram prison (where he was likely tortured...